Porsche Reveals its First 992 Generation 911 Race Car, the GT3 Cup
Porsche is slowly but surely spreading the 992-generation 911 lineup. Now it includes the race cars. Starting at the Porsche Carrera Cup North America event, held at Sebring International Raceway on March 16-17, 2021, drivers will race the new, 992 based, GT3 Cup race car.
The new GT3 Cup continues to use a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six engine, but horsepower bumps up to 503 at 8400 rpm, 900 rpm higher than the outgoing motor. Torque peaks at 347 lb-ft at 6150 rpm and the six horizontally opposed cylinders pump pistons as fast as 8,700 revolutions per minute.
Attached ahead of the engine is a six-speed paddle-shift controlled gearbox using a single mass-flywheel and a three-plate racing clutch. Porsche claims the engine can run on track for 100 hours before needing any maintenance and the gearbox can run 60 hours before a minor inspection and 120 hours in between overhauls.
The body this engine is pushing through the air is built from a mix of roughly 70 percent aluminum and 30 percent steel. Additionally, you have lightweight polycarbonate instead of glass and carbon fiber doors, hood, and rear wing. Despite being dimensionally bigger, the car’s dry weight stays at 2,778 lbs.
It’s dimensionally bigger because Porsche is using the turbo-spec body for the first time. The rear end is 1.1-inches wider than the outgoing Cup car at 74.9-inches wide. The front end is wider too, matching the rear’s nearly 75-inch width, thanks to flared fenders. This allows using one-foot wide wheels in front and 13-imches in back. That means lots of sticky rubber will get mounted. Additionally, the front axle now gets a double-wishbone suspension with Uniball bearing instead of bushings, just the the 911 RSR, to give more precise feel at turn-in.
Aerodynamically, racers will feel a lot more down force, as Porsche re-worked the front lip and installed a larger rear wing, adjustable to one of 11 different settings. Porsche claims uninterrupted under-wing airflow, meaning the down force is not only significant, but also stable.
Inside, drivers have a new racing seat with two different seat height settings. Additionally, the steering column is adjustable and Porsche provides a range of padding thicknesses to give a wide variety of body types a comfortable and snug fit.
Porsche also reworked the controls on and around the steering wheel to have easy access to lighting, ventilation, and other systems. Furthermore, a brake bias adjustment rotary knob is installed for easy and intuitive access to on-the-fly adjustments. And even race cars have “infotainment screens,” of sorts, nowadays. The GT3 Cups is 10.3-inches and filled with important information for the driver.
Put it all together and Porsche claims the new GT3 Cup will lap the average race track one-percent quicker than before. I’d say that translates to about a half-second faster per lap than the old-one. Considering all of that, I’m looking forward to seeing one enter Sebring’s blind-entry, fifth-gear turn-one in anger for the first time next March.
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